I’m a finalist!

The finalists for the “new to me” challenge over at the Monthly Stitch were announced this morning, & one of them is me! I’m really kind of thrilled. My entry was my Swiss dot rose print Marigold dress by Blank Slate Patterns–this guy:

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So head on over & vote for me, if you are so inclined!

I have been working on my garments for the last challenge of the month, the “RTW knock-off”. My plan is to make three garments: a pair of jeans, a button-down shirt, & a jacket. It is turning into so much more work than I anticipated.

For starters, I’m making jeans. I’ve done it before, but it’s still a fairly time-consuming garment, with all the topstitching & everything. I’m using the Ginger jeans pattern again, from Closet Case Files, but I found that the larger sizes on that pattern do run large. I wound up sewing those first jeans with an enormous seam allowance to get them to fit. I cut my pattern down from a size 18 to a 14, but I need to do another baste-fit to make sure I didn’t cut it down too much. I have my denim all cut out & ready to roll, but I started seeing the actual jeans for the challenge in a gray denim instead of the dark indigo I had on hand. I couldn’t stop thinking about gray jeans, so I finally just sucked it up & ordered some. I ordered from Denver Fabrics, which has a great selection & stellar prices, but shipping is s-l-o-o-o-w. So I’m still waiting on my gray denim.

I’m using new patterns for the button-down & the jacket. Moreover, I actually don’t really wear button-downs or jackets, because finding ones that fit in RTW was always an exercise in futility. My waist is comparably large in relation to my shoulders, & although a 40D chest is really not THAT big, it’s apparently too big for RTW. If I found something that fit my shoulders, it would be too small in the waist, & something that fit my waist would be way too big in the shoulders, & pretty much everything would gape & pull across my chest.

So at some point, I just decided that I don’t wear buttons-downs or jackets (by which I mean, like, blazers). But the magic of sewing for yourself, & learning to fit your unique body, is that you can experiment with styles you may have gotten used to avoiding in RTW & make them fit!

I have finished a wearable muslin of the button-down. It needed some more alterations after (mainly in the form of a GINORMOUS swayback adjustment, & some fiddling with the sleeve cap/armscye), but the main thing: I’m adding pintucks. I’m actually creating a pintucked panel & then sewing it to the shirt with some flat piping sandwiched in between to look like a contrasting pintuck magically finishing the panel. & all of that had to be drafted in.

It’s just time-consuming, all that slashing & spreading. But I think my button-down pattern is finally ready to hit the cutting table.

I cut out a “wearable muslin” of the jacket & did a baste-fit. The jacket part was a perfect fit…unhemmed, & without facings. Meaning, really, too short & not quite big enough through the waist. I think I can futz some seam & hem allowances & make it work, but the real issue was that the sleeves were crazy, insanely tight. I basted them again with as tiny a seam allowance as I could get away with (which also had to be carried into the side & shoulder seams, to make room in the armscye) & again, I think it will be wearable. But I really want to finesse a much better fit before I cut into $90 worth of velvet. Because of course I couldn’t just be content with $3-a-yard twill from the Hancock liquidation sales. Once I saw this jacket in my mind in beautiful black velvet with a black satin lining, I couldn’t let it go. I actually special-ordered satin from Spoonflower (which is NOT cheap) for the lining. So yeah, I want to get the fit as perfect as I can get it. Not only are the fabrics expensive, but there’s also a lot of very fiddly sewing.

This is how the side front pattern piece looked after my second round of alterations, because of course I did an FBA before I did anything else.

So my goal for the weekend is to muslin the jacket again, hopefully get my “real” fabrics for both the jacket & the button-down all cut out, baste-fit my jeans, & just generally get to the point where I can think about actually sewing these garments. I’m trying not to dwell on the fact that I don’t have a pintucking foot, so each pintuck is going to be sewn the old-fashioned way, with a regular foot & lots of careful pressing. Or that the jacket calls for two welt pockets. Or that the first language of the person who designed the jacket is Japanese, & as such, some of her English language directions are a bit less clear than they could be, especially when it comes to all the fitting pleats in the lining. Or that Denver Fabrics has yet to actually ship my gray denim.

Also? It’s supposed to be like 97 degrees all weekend. We have air conditioners, but really, the last thing you want to do when it’s that hot is stand at your ironing board pressing interfacing for a jacket. Oh well!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. hoperoth says:

    Oh, Spoonflower. So much love for the fabrics. So much hate for the prices and the lack of discounts.

    1. Ciara says:

      Yeah, you can really only buy from them if you absolutely fall in love with a print & can’t find anything similar anywhere else. I bought the satin because I really wanted a common thread between the three garments I made for my Patti Smith-inspired outfit & the print I found was just too perfect.

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